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The other day, we noticed a 257% price hike on hydroxychloroquine sulfate USP. If the first word rings a bell, it’s the drug the Trump Administration has been actively touting for COVID-19 treatment.
The president's enthusiasm for this drug, despite only limited, anecdotal evidence of efficacy, has already led to a run on supplies. Patients with lupus have relied on this common anti-malarial medicine for years. In some places, they now can’t find a refill.
Hydroxychloroquine sulfate USP is an API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) sold primarily to compounding pharmacies and researchers. However, could it be a canary in the supply chain?
Is this a brazen attempt by this API manufacturer to price gouge the way Martin Shkreli did, simply because they can? Could the 15 manufacturers of hydroxychloroquine tablets follow suit?
Not today. Perhaps not even tomorrow. But in the midst of this crisis, who really knows? What we do know is our members always need options. Those options are already built into our solution.
If you have members who are patients with lupus or other conditions treated by hydroxychloroquine, our portal shows therapeutic alternatives, exact prices and savings opportunities within your plan. They can also call our Pharmacy Support team and talk through their options with a real person, a certified pharmacy technician who can make a prescription change happen quickly.
Things can and often do change quickly in the pharmaceutical landscape. All the more reason to have a watchdog in your front yard.